UTILITIES: Shotgun Wedding

As boss of Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the West Coast's biggest utility, James B. Black has carried out two basic ideas. The first is that power is the farmer's best friend. The second is that P.G. & E. is the one to supply that power. In California's 400-mile-long Central Valley, Jim Black's first premise proved right. Once a desert, Central Valley has blossomed into a rich farming area, made California the biggest U.S. producer of fresh vegetables. This has been due to cheap P.G. & E. power, which enables farmers to pump water from wells all over the valley.


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